Physical Stuff. Apart from the benefits of this website, social networking, group runs, coached track workouts, tempo runs, an improved social life, increased health and improved mental state, Membership provides you with a VCTC racing singlet for the discounted price of $15. We also send regular group emails through Yahoo Groups and we send a Club Newsletter every 2 months full of reviews of races, training tips from Coach Ken, lists of everyone's race results, details of upcoming races and events, other tidbits and uplifting encouragement and wisdom from our President Bette. If there is any comments you want to make, please come to the Club Meetings, second Saturday each month at 10am and air your views.
Other gear available includes jackets, hats, t-shirts, hoodies and socks - so far, all in team colors and all optional.
NYC Marathon. Without doubt, the NY signature event is the NYC Marathon. Through VCTC volunteering to assist NYRR throughout the year, we earn a few places to give to some members who were not able to get a place. This is huge and gained through the combined efforts of many people. On race day, at 7am we have transport take us straight to the start, avoiding the need to get up ridiculously early like other runners. If you are reasonably quick for your age, through VCTC, you can get into the preferential treatment given by NYRR for local runners who have their own warm up area, food, drink and, crucially, portajohns. Then they are ushered to the very front of the start on the Verrazano Bridge, able to see all the festivities and have a clear run. 2011 will see 51 VCTC runners run the 5 boroughs, and once in the Bronx, even more were lined up to cheer on the elite athletes and our own brave souls. The camaraderie doesn't end there. After meeting up after the race for food and nourishment in a suitable bar, everyone headed over to the Bette's for a proper party.
Awards Dinner. In January each year, the Club holds a glamorous Awards Dinner. The night honors those in every age group who have run rather well over the previous year, with overall awards to the VCTC Runners of the Year. Everyone is dressed to the nines and we follow a wonderful meal in a hired hall with a disco. This is no back room of a bar affair. The night is subsidised for members. Past years have been VCTC kit bags, VCTC T-shirts and the like.
Barbecue and Beer. In August, following the last Summer Series Cross-Country race, everyone heads over for a Barbecue, with endless food and drink - for FREE (well almost). The Summer Series races are described separately but are not to missed, but being on Thursday nights obviously replace the tempo runs on those days.
Fantastic Trips. From time to time, a group of members will take a fancy to an out of town race experience, such as the Boston Marathon, a long distance relay (New Hampshire, across New Jersey, across Long Island, from Bear Mountain to name a few), Vermont, Puerto Rico, Key West and more. If it takes your fancy, you'd love these. There are also those who take in week-long training camps in Vermont and we have even organised our very own camp at Croton.
League Racing. Of course, being in VCTC you can compete in NYRR races with the added interest of scoring for the club year round and not just taking on some of the big impersonal clubs but actually beating them too. VCTC is not sponsored by running companies and few runners let running control their lives but that doesn't stop us from taking on the big guns. Our ladies over-50s even won the first NYRR race of 2009 outright, beating the likes of Nike Central Park TC and the Westchester TC whose interests include professional athletes. All our teams are presently doing extremely well.
Food and Beer. After track on Tuesdays, several folk go for pizza. On Saturdays, we nearly take over the Short Stop Cafe after the group run for breakfast.
Discounts. If that was not enough, VCTC Members get 20% membership discount at the Riverdale Y and we also get 10% discount at the Urban Athletics, EMS, Eastchester and at Westchester Runner shop in White Plains. Also try the Running Store, Bronxville who support our races for 20% off.
Our Races. Finally, the races we organise. Every April, we host the Urban Environmental Challenge 10k XC race in the park. In May/June we also host the Riverdale Ramble 10k road race (all hands on deck to help with that one), New in 2009 VCTC co-organised the Riverdale Y 5k. Last but by no means least, we put on the Summer Series 5k (and one 2 x 2M relay) XC on 7 alternate Thursdays throughout the summer, which you are free to enter of help with. Near the end of year, NYRR puts on the 15k Pete McArdle XC in VCP which we may help with but is traditionally and immediately followed by a party for all members, whether they ran or not, opposite the park in Kev's apartment - no need to shower first (but available if so needed).